It's a done deal. If you are in law practice and want new clients or a way to maintain your reputation and expertise in the world at large, you need to be using social media. However, as with all marketing or reputation management tools, it is necessary and important to have a social media strategy.
One. Do Plan. It is essential to plan your social media communications. Remember that getting out there in social media is essential, but if you want your efforts to be effective, you must plan. Just like you would a case or trial strategy. Social media is like any other communications or media vehicle, it needs to be controlled. Don't let a frantic push to get into the social media conversation, keep you from planning your road to relevancy and value.
Two. Related to One above, Don't Just Sign Up. Do not sign up for every service out there that will allow you to connect with your potential market. Research the way each social media community works. Make sure that the content you post is relevant to the community and that your time gaining visibility is not wasted.
Three. Do Say Something That Matters. Say something meaningful and provide good content. The focus and use of each site is different and if you just throw your blog posts or Twitter updates up on these sites for example, you could find yourself ostracized from the community fairly quickly. Many lawyers use these sites for self-promotion, but the best way to promote yourself or your practice is to provide content that is valuable and meaningful. Heard this before? Great. Check your content dispassionately from time to time.
Four. Do Not Be Fearful of Ghosts. I ghostwrite many blogs for lawyers and law firms. This is because the lawyers that hire me simply do not have the time to blog for themselves. As long as the blog that is ghosted is substantive and meaningful and provides value to your clients and potential clients, fear not. Hire a professional writer, perhaps a lawyer and with your guidance, all will be well.
Five. Do Review Your Social Media Strategy. Once you have a social media strategy in place and you know where you want to focus your presence, keep evaluating. It is really important to maintain the standards that correlate to your firm brand and differentiators. Last year Google analytics changed for blog sites. If you did not adjust your content in your professional blog, you could drop your SEO status and relinquish your position to others that are competing for attention.
Your social media efforts should not be a "throw the pasta on the wall and see what sticks" sort of thing. Your Facebook page and Twitter feeds, for example, could end up being more valuable than your website. Take the time to manage your on-line presence with some basic initial steps.